Dubuque police captain alleges sex discrimination in lawsuit

June 6, 2019 GMT

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa police captain who said she was twice passed over for promotion in favor of lesser-qualified male candidates has filed a lawsuit accusing her police chief of gender discrimination.

Dubuque police Capt. Abby Simon alleged her rights have been violated under Iowa’s Civil Rights Act in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that names Police Chief Mark Dalsing and the city of Dubuque as defendants, the Telegraph Herald reported.


Simon, a more than 20-year veteran of the force, also claimed harassment and retaliation.

In her lawsuit , Simon says she was passed over for promotions to captain in 2016 and 2017, even though she received better test and interview scores than the two male officers who received those promotions.

Moreover, “each of the eight men who held (that position) before Simon was promoted to captain or assistant chief after serving as (that position) for fewer years than Simon,” the lawsuit claims.

Simon also said that Dalsing also emailed derisory comments about her to several colleagues.

City spokesman Randy Gehl and City Attorney Crenna Brumwell, speaking on behalf of Dalsing, said legal counsel was reviewing the lawsuit.

Simon is seeking an unspecified judgment that “will fully and fairly compensate her for her injuries and damages” and any other relief deemed appropriate.

The lawsuit alleges that some officers treated her with hostility after she was made captain last year, and “her physical and mental health deteriorated.”

The lawsuit describes a culture of discrimination, sexism and racism within the Dubuque Police Department. Simon said that female colleagues told her they were discouraged from seeking promotions and that male officers made fun of them during training exercises.

Simon also alleged that her former supervisor, Capt. James Lembke, bullied her.

Lembke did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.


Information from: Telegraph Herald,